Only 41% of millennials are planning to vote compared to 75% of people over 30. Who's voice do you want running the country?

Christmas commercials have already started to pop up here and there, and somehow they are not the most annoying thing on television. It’s been well over a year since wide coverage of the election started, so I think we’re all ready to get this thing over with.

Which Candidate Do Millennials Prefer?

It doesn’t help that, as a group, millennials voted for neither Hillary nor Donald. We cast our votes for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders. Now we’re down to choices that have some of the lowest favorability ratings of any candidates ever. Like, record-breakingly low.

Clinton got less than a third of millennial votes in some of the key primaries, which almost pushed her out of the race. Trump got 20 to 30 percent of millennial votes in key Republican primaries, coming in behind Rubio and Cruz. Clearly, we’re not feeling either of them.

In an ABC poll, only 41 percent of millennials said they were definitely planning to vote, with another 15 percent saying they’d “probably” vote. Compare this to the 75 percent of people over 30 who said they would definitely vote. Washington, we have a problem.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Only 41% of #millennials said they would ‘definitely vote.’ ” quote=”Only 41% of #millennials said they would ‘definitely vote.’ “]

The Millennial Perspective

This isn’t exactly surprising, considering our lack of enthusiasm for either candidate, but I still think it sucks. Voting is the only thing we can do to impact this race, so we ought to do it. Even if you don’t love either one of the choices, I’m sure you know which one you’d pick if you were forced to vote, right? Right? If you have a preference, just go vote for that person.  Please.

I already wrote some of my thoughts on voting back in the primary season, which now seems like a lifetime ago.

As a refresher, the main points there were:

1) Millennials are important in this election because of our unique perspective.
2) The obligatory argument that you can’t complain about politics if you don’t vote.
3) There is a multitude of ways to get your vote in aside from physically being at the polls. You’re smart. You can figure it out.
4) Millennials will be in charge soon.

I want to revisit some of these points again because we’re about to head into The Big One and this stuff is kinda important.

Maybe “millennial” is ill-defined, but there’s no arguing that those of us in the late-teens to early thirties age group have a unique perspective on just about everything.

We’re less likely to have kids already (or be interested in having them at all). We’re less likely to own a house, but we might still be sleeping in our parents’ house. We’re more likely to have a college education than previous generations. We’re more likely to carry debt because of that education. Massive, massive debt. We remember 9/11 just enough to have an emotional reaction to remembering it, but not enough to know what politicians were saying and doing at that time.

We’re also less likely to stick with the same job for more than a few years at a time. Two-thirds of us plan to be working elsewhere by 2020.

Millennials are...

We read our news on Twitter and Snapchat, which means that our entertainment, social lives, news consumption, and social action are all connected to one other. We can touch on each one of those categories within the same five minutes. “Reading the news” is not really an event to us, so much as something we do in between all kinds of other things.

These factors don’t make us better or worse than previous generations, but they do make us different. It means we bring something to the table; a new perspective on the economy, on jobs, on the housing market, on homeland security, on just about everything that’s (literally) up for debate.

Of course, the exact perspective will vary from millennial to millennial. The specific circumstances that shaped our lives were different. Some millennials of color will have a different perspective on police brutality than even the most liberal white millennial. Rich millennials will feel differently about the economy than ones who grew up getting reduced price school lunches.

And no duh, this is gonna result in us voting differently and for different reasons. I’m not here to say all millennials will vote the same because of our similar perspective.

What I’m here to say is that our perspective is different from other generations and we need to voice the opinions we have in the best way we can: voting.

Also, our hands are about to be on the wheel of this ship. A millennial could technically be the President of the United States in 2020 (if they are at least 31 now). It’s unlikely, but it’s possible. At the risk of sounding cheesy, this really is our country to run. We need to use our unique perspectives to make sure this country is a great one to raise our kids in (in the event that we actually have any kids).

Something else about millennials: we’re busy, maybe because we like to be.

Some of us work from home and it’s not a crazy idea that we could take a lunch break to the polls, but a lot of millennials do not have that luxury and will have to make it happen either before or after their commute, when lines are long and time is short. Absentee and early voting is a thing. Use them, please.

Planning to vote? Tweet about it:

[clickToTweet tweet=”I’m a millennial and I’m voting in the 2016 Presidential Election ” quote=”I’m a millennial and I’m voting in the 2016 Presidential Election “]